United Fishermen of Alaska is renewing its efforts to get Alaska’s salmon fishermen federal funding to relieve the financial pain of high transportation costs. UFA’s Mark Vinsel noted in an announcement on Aug. 29 that 40 Alaska fishermen applied for funding authorized through the Good, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008, the Farm Bill, for payments to help offset the high cost of transportation, just like Alaska farmers and ranchers. All 40 fishermen were initially denied, Vinsel said. Now UFA marketing chair Bruce Schactler has appealed the denal and hs appeal will be considered at a hearing on Sept. 22.
Vinsel said that Schactler and the UFA believe the intent of Congress is clear, to include salmon fishermen because they produce an agricultural commodity. If the appeal is successful, it should open the door to this transportation cost relief program to Alaska salmon fishermen, he said.
To be eligible for 2011, fishermen must download and print page 1 of the application form, and return it to the Alaska Farm Service Agency by Sept. 9.
To apply click on RTCP FSA Form 218 (PDF 203 KB) http://www.fsa.usda.gov/Internet/FSA_File/rtcp_form_fsa218.pdf
The Reimbursement Transportation Costs Payment Program for Geographically Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers assists farmers and ranchers in Alaska, Hawaii and other outlying areas.